Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are coming, but is your holiday ecommerce strategy ready? Pattern’s ecommerce experts explore what sellers should be doing to prepare for the Cyber Weekend shopping frenzy and any subsequent holiday ecommerce sales.
Focusing on these four best practices will help you win this holiday season and beat your competition to every extra sale.
1. Prepare your inventory for increased sales
Preparing your inventory beforehand is crucial for marketplace success during the Holiday season. That’s why we’ve analyzed the Amazon categories most likely to experience stockouts this holiday season. What could be worse than running out of inventory while demand is booming? CBS reported in 2018 that while Amazon “didn't disclose sales figures, it said customers ordered more than 180 million items during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, adding that the latter was its biggest single shopping day ever.” And we know this demand has only gone up each year since.
If this is your first year selling on Amazon or if you are new to a certain category, it can be intimidating to strategize for the shopping bonanza. There are a number of third-party tools you can use to see historical sales volume over time, such as Scope or Algopix. These will help you estimate how much extra inventory you need to have on hand. If you sold during the holiday season last year, be sure to analyze last year’s sales, take into account the growth of your product category(s), and forecast accordingly.
2. Optimize SEO
While SEO is something you should be doing year-round, make sure you are up-to-date on the most current keyword trends before the holiday season hits. Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to determine which search terms you want your products to rank on and edit your content accordingly. Pattern partners can rely on Predict, our internal software that analyzes over 3 million keywords daily, to help them find the best opportunities.
Remember that while placement in search is determined by various factors, sales velocity is a strong determinant, so having this in place and optimized year-round is really your best safeguard for being prepared for the holiday season.
3. Prepare your advertising strategy
Having a sound advertising plan can really help your sales soar during the Holiday season. A poorly planned advertising strategy will inefficiently spend your ad budget and may only marginally contribute to your brand’s overall goals for the holiday season.
Sponsored Products is a common Amazon advertising tool and definitely deserves your attention over the holiday season. However, a complete advertising strategy needs to incorporate other tools like product display ads, sponsored brands, DSP (Demand Side Platform) off-site ads, or a Google Adwords campaign that drives traffic to your brand storefront. These types of ads can work in tandem to support your goals, explained Tony Morales, the Advertising Director at Pattern.
“A customer may click on a Sponsored Products ad and not buy. We later serve them a DSP ad that focuses on customers that have viewed the product detail page and but didn’t purchase. The customer views the DSP ad on the web, they click, and purchase. That sale is attributed to DSP, but it was the Sponsored Products ad that began that journey. It's similar with Sponsored Brands—that's how they complement each other,” Tony said.
For my insight on how to advertise this holiday season, check out our Holiday Advertising series, starting with Your Guide to Pre-Holiday Advertising.
4. Get your products into multiple marketplaces
Where are your customers shopping this holiday season? While many of them may be on Amazon, there will be others searching elsewhere—think Walmart.com, Target+, etc.—and you should be there with your products to greet them. Getting your products out into other marketplaces will broaden your customer base. Make sure you have price parity across marketplaces though, or those shopping elsewhere will feel they got the short end of the stick from your brand on their purchase.
Walmart.com, eBay, Instagram, Google shopping, and even international marketplaces all see significant increases in traffic over the holidays. As an example, on Cyber Monday 2018, eBay sold 1 hoverboard every 12 seconds, roughly 7,500 for the day, and over 19,000 Star Wars-related items—1 every 4.5 seconds.
There are certainly other levers you can pull to ensure success during the holiday season; Optimize for mobile, get your products into special promotional catalogs and programs, email marketing campaigns, and so much more. Do your research, be resourceful, and just remember, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” — Bobby Usner
To learn more about what a Pattern partnership could do to boost your holiday sales and beyond, reach out today.